Spring sports getting into the swing of things
Claremont seems to perpetually have talent in tennis and this year is no exception. The boys varsity team easily defeated the visiting Bonita Bearcats 14-4 on Monday in Claremont.
Monday’s game was a reschedule due to rain last week. The Pack narrowly lost to Diamond Bar on Tuesday, 10-8. Diamond Bar has been Claremont’s chief Palomares League rival for a few years. Their star, Neil Tengbumroong, is back this season, a year older and stronger.
This year marks the first in a long time that no one with the last name Leahy will be on the Claremont roster. The two brothers, beginning with Alan Leahy, who graduated in 2013, and Andrew who graduated last year, have dominated the competition for the better part of a decade as number one seed for the Wolfpack.
Picking up the mantle is junior Leyton Boren, who has inherited the top spot. He looked like a champion during the Bonita match, giving up just one game as he defeated all three of his opponents. Boren did concede that the Leahy legacy is a tough act to follow.
“Those are big shoes to fill, following Andrew. Hopefully I am up to it,” he said. Boren said his strength lies in his serve and forehand, noting that he likes to play aggressively to get to the net first and win the point.
To win the individual championship, as well as the team title, Boren will have to better Tengbumroong. But Tuesday he lost to the Diamond Bar ace, 6-4. Teammate Christian Settles was also unable to beat Tengbumroong, losing 6-2. Both boys will have a second chance when Diamond Bar comes to Claremont later in the season.
Leading the Pack attack for the second year, Coach Kathy Settles believes Claremont will have a good year.
“We have a good team,” Coach Settles said. “We will have to see how we do, but we have a new freshman who is good and we have good leadership.”
That freshman is Ben Stapp, who usually plays doubles, but filled in for a sick teammate by playing singles against Bonita. Stapp played well, including a 6-0 victory in the second round.
Claremont has two sets of twins, Harrison and Hunter Bojalad as well as Andrew and Jason Weisman. Harrison Bojalad and Andre Weisman make up the number-one seed doubles team, while Hunter Bojalad and Akheel Mohideen are number two.
Claremont had three players out sick for the Diamond Bar match, which certainly hurt. But Coach Settles is upbeat about the team’s chances going forward.
“It really comes down to the depth of your team,” she said. “We play everyone twice so, if we can pick a set or two, we can be competitive even if not every player is there.”
With the win and the loss Claremont is now 4-1 in league, which is a nice place to be with roughly half of the matches in the rearview mirror.
There is also a campaign to upgrade the tennis facilities at CHS via a fundraising drive, which brought in enough money in the first day to purchase four benches for the courts. Coach Settles will be working with CHS Principal Brett O’Connor to install bleachers for parents and fans who must now stand or sit on folding chairs along a walkway.
The biggest improvement will be a resurfacing project that will be conducted in coordination with the city of Claremont. The courts are used by the city for its recreation programs, so keeping the surface in top condition will benefit both the school and the community. The resurfacing also makes the courts safer, because cracks are filled and players are less likely to slip.
“We are so thankful to the city of Claremont for the money to make these courts safe,” Coach Settles said.
Claremont High School boys and girls varsity swim teams both defeated Bonita during a Palomares League meet Wednesday at CHS.
The girls got an easy 114-56 victory, while the boys margin was pretty narrow at 87-80. The JV girls also won, 85-69, while the JV boys lost 99-70.
Adding a little extra excitement, Wednesday’s meet was the first event at the CHS pool since the heater broke in December. School officials were concerned they would have to wait until the Measure G-funded pool remodel was complete before swimming and water polo competition could return to CHS. However, a heater that will work for both the current pool and the new one was located, according to Athletic Director Rick Dutton.
Also longtime Assistant Coach Joy Stein has been named the new head coach. This will be her seventh season with CHS. Joining the leadership team this year are Nathan Harding, assistant varsity coach, and CHS alumna Lauren Mitchell as JV coach.
Sophie Jackson qualified for CIF consideration times in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard freestyle. Varsity girls 200-yard medley relay and 200-yard freestyle relay qualified for CIF consideration times as well.
Varsity girls to watch this season are Jackson, Katrina Strash and Natalya Strash. Varsity boys to watch this season are Toby Jackson, Sanjar Junisbai, Adam Gomez and Matthew McCarthy.
“We are all-around a solid team this year, with some young fresh talent. The coaching staff is excited to see some great swims towards the end of the season,” Coach Stein said.
Claremont shut out Diamond Bar, 8-0, in Palomares League action on Wednesday in Claremont.
Junior Andrew Beauvais pitched five innings for the win, giving up two hits while striking out three and walking four. Cory Smith was the closer giving up one hit while striking out two.
Senior Matt Hohn had an amazing day at the plate with two doubles and four RBIs, while fellow senior Kyle Scalmanini had a triple, double and single with two RBIs. Junior Jake Holcroft had two hits including a triple with one RBI. Scalmanini scored three runs followed by Holcroft and Jake Gentry, who each scored twice.
With the victory, the Pack is now 3-2 in league, which is good enough for second place.
Both the boys and girls varsity teams won Tuesday’s three-way meet with Bonita and South Hills at CHS. Claremont’s distance runners, including state champion cross country runner Owen Bishop and teammate Ryan Renken, recorded great times. Pole vaulter Max McGuire cleared 14 feet, six inches and will attempt 15 feet at the next meet.
The Pack lost 3-1 at last Thursday’s away match to rival Damien. The Spartans took the first two sets, 25-19 and 25-21, but the Pack then answered with a 25-23 victory. Damien then took the last set 25-1